- THE MAGAZINE
In the near future, U.S. food importers and companies importing other goods regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will realize additional tangible benefits with certification in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). Under CBP’s Trusted Trader pilot, FDA will be able to recognize C-TPAT certified importers, which will allow the agency to better target and evaluate risk; therefore, streamlining the shipping process for certified shippers. Prior to this pilot, FDA was unable to recognize C-TPAT certified shippers.
CBP’s Trusted Trader pilot endeavors to streamline government security programs while helping the trade community realize more efficient shipping benefits. As part of the pilot, segments of C-TPAT, a joint voluntary, security program between importers and CBP, and the Importer Self-Assessment program will combine. The accessibility of this data provides FDA with another tool to assess the risks associated with shipments of food and other goods regulated by FDA.
FDA, CBP, and the Advisory Committee on the Commercial Operations of CBP (COAC) are still working to coordinate their different missions and how they relate to C-TPAT. However, FDA and CBP continue to develop areas of joint cooperation. This collaboration is evidenced by the agencies crafting a memorandum of understanding, working together to establish CBP’s Center of Excellence and Expertise relevant to FDA, and FDA recently renewing its commitment within the Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center.